A Travellerspoint blog

Welcome to Cairo!

A short entry about a visit to Egypt's sprawling capital: Cairo...

If I were to describe my journey in a compact entry, besides cultural highlights like the pyramids and temples, Egypt is also home to impressive landscapes; desolate white and black sand, lime and basalt deserts with bizarre rock formations. Outside of the Nile river and oasis grew literally nothing.
After our arrival in Cairo, me and my guide Hassan, together with other tourist groups, are driven to downtown Cairo in a convoy with police escort. It seems a little exaggerated, but since the terror attacks of 1997, this is standard procedure. I didn’t seem to quite as much mind, as it meant better security for all.
My first destination seemed to be the Egyptian Museum, resting in the heart of Cairo, bustling with tourists sprawling around the premises. I was blessed enough to witness Tutankhamun’s death mask and almost feel the rough and concrete-like collection of uncovered statues. “No, no, no. None of that please” the security guard argues as I proceed among crowds to see other exhibits.
“What?”, I mumble in confusion…
“That seems to be video camera. That not allowed here. Only the photo camera, sir”, he explained in a broken form of English.
Apparently, a ticket for a video camera is ten times as expensive as one for a photo camera. There is a short argument on whether my digital photo camera is a video camera, but I succeed in convincing him that it's a photo camera.
I then took a cab to the market at Souk Mansour (a maze of narrow streets where all and sundry is sold!), which also gave me a chance to try ‘Koshary’, an infamous Egyptian cuisine made of rice, macaroni and lentils topped with chickpeas, onion and sauce. It had a mouth-watering taste and a pleasing aromatic smell I wouldn’t forget.
As my day drew towards an end, I was successfully able to visit the more commercial side of the Nile River at sunset. Tourists had attracted to this location like fireflies towards lamps, with the reason being beauty and significance, I guess. The view was panoramic, but that’s not all of what the Nile had to offer. I was clearly able to spot paddle streamers, restaurants, shops, retailers, tourists with cameras among their shoulders e.t.c. I remember noticing a retailer standing atop a three-story paddle streamer with people tugging to get inside due to some form of desperation. He shouted: “Fine gems and all your silver dreams. Enter the House of Gold for the best prices in Cairo!”

Posted by M.J 9-D 08:40 Archived in Egypt Tagged food travel egypt museum fun english cairo visit perspective entry Comments (2)

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